Cop Out : Robb and Mark Cullen (Screenwriters) interview

ROBB AND MARK CULLEN (Screenwriters) Q&A

QUESTION: How did you come up with the idea for Cop Out?

We started talking about, well, what kind of movies are we not seeing that we really want to go see? And at the same time, we had just lost our father. Our father died. And we were like, “Let’s write a movie that our dad would go see.” These are the kinds of movies that he really loved, and so we wrote it for him, and it kind of snowballed very quickly out of that, because my brother and I, we write everything we do at a coffee shop in Santa Monica. We sit outside and we just write and tell jokes to each other. And it’s the best way to make a living, by the way. Laughs And we just sat there for a month just writing jokes and it all came together. It was really nice.

QUESTION: What were the kinds of movies your dad liked?

Oh, he liked 48 Hrs. He loved Running Scared with Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines. My father liked anything with an explosion in the first five minutes and with some comedy. So, that’s the movie we wanted to do. Freebie and the Bean was a huge movie that he loved, and what I took from that was that I didn’t see a movie where two guys related to each other. What I loved about Freebie and the Bean is that there was almost no plot to the movie. Most of it, it’s about two guys arguing in a car. And I hadn’t seen that in a while, and I love that.

QUESTION: Did you have Bruce and Tracy in mind when you were writing this?

No, we didn’t. But it came out nicely. There were a lot of people that were interested to do this movie. They were just trying to find out who made the most sense. But Bruce read the script, loved it. And then I think Tracy came up. And I said, that’s my vote. I think that would be a really interesting pairing. And everyone’s like, “Yeah, that’s really interesting.” And it just came about.

QUESTION: Were you on the set?

Oh, my brother and I were on the set, I think, almost every day.

QUESTION: Was a lot of dialog changed as you were going?

Not as much as I thought would be. There was stuff that when it was changed, it was changed with us collaborating with it. So, I mean, Tracy has his own vernacular and Tracy is hysterical. He comes from a certain background. It’s like, play with it. And we’re going to play with you. And he was fantastic.

QUESTION: What do you think your dad would have thought of Cop Out?

I think my dad would have had a great time. I think that he would have just laughed his ass off.

QUESTION: What was it like working with Kevin Smith as a director?

Kevin is super playful, and he has a great sense of humor. He brought to it a real vision, even when we talked about the movie with him, it was about the 80s’ movies that he loved with his dad. So, that’s how we actually all connected. It’s like his dad wanted to go see this. So, he wanted to do an homage to all those movies also. And so we all came with the same heart. And he loved the script. He was very good with us. He was very collaborative with us. And we’re very appreciative of that. He was really terrific the whole time.

QUESTION: How did you and Tracy get along?

Famously. I love Tracy. What I love about Tracy is he wears it on his sleeve. He has been through the wringer. He’s been through everything possible. And he’s honest about it and he’s okay with it and he has kind of found himself.

MARK CULLEN: And he’s ready to have success, the success that he’s having. He’s ready for it. All of the things he’s gone through, he really understands a moment in time right now. And he’s ready for it. He’s willing to work for it.

ROBB CULLEN: And he wants it.

MARK CULLEN: Yeah, and he is the most professional, prepared person I have ever met in my life.